John Stewart DJs at RBC last year. Bret Redman

Arts & Entertainment

Amid Sexual Assault Allegations Against DJ John Stewart, Popular Dallas Weekly All // Everything Ends

As women came forward about Stewart, open secrets in the Dallas hip-hop scene began to spill out.

Well-known Dallas DJ and producer John Stewart was accused of sexual assault Sunday. After the public allegations, others within the music scene began sharing their stories of intrusive and sexually abusive behavior they say Stewart — and others in his circles — were known for. Separate allegations of physical and emotional abuse were made against Richard “PicnicTyme” Escobedo, a member of Erykah Badu’s band The Cannabinoids.

A woman who calls herself Tina posted under the handle @canipeturdogx about the night of February 4, when she says two men forced her to perform oral sex on them when she was too drunk to drive. One of the guys — a friend, she’d thought — was Stewart, aka Mixgod, who runs All // Everything, one of the most frequented DJ weeklies in Dallas. The other was scene regular Tony Curtis, whose real name is Tony Martinez. (Update at 8:55 a.m. on Tuesday: After arrest records were shared by members of the Dallas music scene on Instagram, we’ve confirmed that Martinez was arrested Monday on charges in the realm of physical assault.)

Tina often hung out at the Sunday night party, which played an evening’s worth of music from single artists or their subgenres and regions. It began in 2016 at Crown & Harp, before moving to RBC in Deep Ellum. A representative who asked not to be named in this story said the weekly has been canceled. Later that evening, the club posted a statement to Facebook:

Stewart, also an engineer, has worked with some of the most respected rappers in the city, like Blue, the Misfit, and recent Def Jam Records signee Bobby Sessions.

On Sunday night, rapper Brandon “Blue, the Misfit” ran All Beyoncé Everything, without Stewart, after the threads unspooled on social media. Blue did not respond to request for comment, but did address the situation on Twitter. 

A woman named Ali backed up Tina’s story with her own. On Twitter this weekend, she pointed to a post she made in October about a guy who refused to leave her home, and wouldn’t stop touching her when she refused his advances. Then, she named Stewart. CentralTrack reported her story. Another woman, who asked not to be named, told D Magazine that Stewart sent her unsolicited photos of his penis. In response to a call asking for comment, Stewart sent this text message:

Allegations against Stewart brought other stories to the surface. Felicia “Librada” Cruz was relaxing at her Los Angeles home Sunday, scanning Twitter. In her timeline was a story from a woman in Dallas whom she didn’t know, who called herself Tina. Cruz felt her stomach drop. The note began with a familiar line that carries an oddly confessional tone. “I’ve debated coming out with this.”

Tina said she’d been sexually assaulted by John Stewart, a name Cruz recognized. As a musician and a contributor to COSIGN magazine, Cruz was active in the same scene when she lived in Dallas until a threatening, controlling ex made her feel unsafe at shows. This guy in Tina’s story — the one who, Tina wrote, forced her to have oral sex with him and his buddy — was in the same hip-hop circle as Richard “PicnicTyme” Escobedo, Cruz’s alleged abuser. She knew what it was like to keep the pain to herself. Reading Tina’s post broke her heart anyway, Cruz says. But when she spotted a reply from Escobedo expressing support for speaking out against men who hurt women, she broke down in tears.

“When I came to L.A., I felt the biggest sigh of relief in my adult life,” she says of her move in September. “I should have called the police, many times.”

Cruz is quick to say her experiences with Escobedo, her boyfriend on and off for three years, rarely fell into the range of physical assault. (Multiple sources also say they witnessed him stalking and threatening her. Another former girlfriend shared similar stories with D, but asked to not be named.) Sometimes he shook or pushed her, Cruz says. And sometimes Escobedo would not allow her to sleep in their bedroom when they lived together.

In a phone call Monday, Escobedo was adamant that his behavior not be equated with the kind Stewart is accused of. Especially because, he claims, he didn’t do anything Cruz—who he described as a “sour ex”— says he did. When pressed to explain others on social media coming forward about his patterns of emotional and physical abuse, he dismissed the consensus. “It’s not fair,” he says. “I work so hard. It’s like, really? You’re calling me? I have a job to do, and so do you.”

Escobedo said the conversation started by Tina incited a “witch hunt.” He’s getting a lawyer, he says. Attributing the timing of the allegations to a “new job” at WFAA and wishes against his success, Escobedo referred to a forthcoming feature including Bobby Sessions and John Stewart, who he said had been cut from the feature. On Monday afternoon, WFAA Channel 8 confirmed that Escobedo had worked there as a contractor. “He’s no longer affiliated with the station,” a statement read.

Cruz posted an image of her lacerated back from a night a few years ago. She says she and Escobedo were in an argument—probably about another woman, she guesses. “I was yelling, trying to get him to look at me,” she says. Then, according to Cruz, Escobedo kicked her into a dresser. He denies this.

———

The stories compelled some producers and DJs to demand accountability from their colleagues. Brain Gang member Donovan “88 Killa” Payne has known Cruz for 10 years, he says. Payne described evenings out when Escobedo cornered her and warned her that her friends would not always be there to protect her. “Picnic is really charming,” he says, pinpointing the need for young MCs and music-makers to stop depending on people like Stewart to connect them with the industry. “It’s hard because, [in the scene], we’re all hungry. These are the guys who’ve gotten behind the curtain, where we want to be … but we don’t need them. I have sisters. I don’t think these women got together at Starbucks Sunday morning and decided to take these guys out.”

Screen grabs of text exchanges provided to D support the stories. Three well-regarded music industry professionals who asked not to be named said Stewart was known for sending unsolicited photos of his penis to women. Another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told D he sent such a photo to her, after grooming her for his advances when she was pregnant and unable to go out or drink. The woman had refused his offers of food and foot rubs, and then stopped responding altogether when he asked to rub her belly and hold her.

Payne urges booking agents and clubs to believe women, ban performers and DJs known to put women in danger, and to be direct about speaking out.

“The women can’t do it on their own,” Payne says.

Comments

  • RompingWillyBilly

    While the busy modern women folk of today froth at the mouth setting things right and making them equal, we men folk need to get back to the age old tradition of doing some serious fishing.

    • @zaccrain

      go fish

      • RompingWillyBilly

        I am only suggesting that achieving happiness for a man is a much easier quest. Love for a woman is a very complex task requiring intimate attention, lots of make up, money galore, and heavy drama; whereas, a man only needs two loaves of bread to barter.

        • @zaccrain

          hm disagree

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Every young man to ever die on the field of battle first gave their love to their mothers. So, for such mothers to then expect a designation of equality is like the proverbial getting your cake and eating it too. Jesus himself was charmed, had to sit down to marvel at such outcast and worthless wretches. He spoke of faith. Indeed, didn’t he deny the glory of healing people and performing miracles relegating such action to the faith that carried us forever along the way?

          • @zaccrain

            are you reading this as you type it?

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Throughout history, God has gotten further away from us the more we have learned about our surroundings. For example, Plato thought of light when expressing the highest form in his dialogue entitled The Republic (Allegory of the Cave). Later, while Einstein did establish light as the only set value, it wasn’t so immortal as to have the ability to escape gravity. In his little black book, he talked about the fallacy of rigid forms. Epistemologically speaking, Einstein described the unusual tendency for our minds to want to envision curved shapes in a perfectly rigidly round manner and to measure those same shapes in straight lines and squares. In other words, all material is nothing but a lot of imperfect crud. It is our finite minds that lends perfection to it.
            Taking this a step further and pushing God even further away in His unapproachable Holy place, R. Buckminster Fuller claimed that in order to bring us to our present point of rigidly interpreting God in this perfectly round and straight manner, nature had to construct us out of more efficient triangular shapes.
            Finally, as Aristotle created his scientific methods to prove that all plants and animals possess souls – and not to create method for the sake of method – how dare anyone question his conclusion that the body’s nervous system originated out from the heart?
            In the end, to get our minds to the point of interpreting God, a tenacious wretched nature had to construct us out of triangles.

          • @zaccrain

            ok

          • RompingWillyBilly

            “Squeal!” The hog grunted at the sight of a pearl thrown in its direction. It then further snorted before waddling over to trample the precious jewel under foot, “Oink! Oink! Oink!”

          • @zaccrain

            sure

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Are you the same Zac Crain that is a senior editor of D-magazine?

  • The sad thing is yes these stories are disgusting and I will say any force by a man to a woman sexually or physically in anyway is not acceptable period. In that same note I will also say as a woman who has been in this industry for over 10 years from magazine to entertainment i have worked with more men than I can count and while I have never had these experiences or felt pressured in anyway I do know I’ve heard horror stories ,I’ve also witnessed many women ,young girls ,teenaged posing as older women to enter establishments, gain free entry, drinks, notoriety or a brief moment of privledge above other patriots by literally flirting, throwing their sexuality and insinuating the desire to sleep with and leave with Djs ,artist, managers, or known socialites in hopes to obtaining a moment . It’s disgusting and has been going on for decades upon decades, so while I know unfortunate #situations occur and in those cases offenders should be punished and held accountable, but for the #situations that are merely accusations they should be investigated fully. Yes this industry has some sick people in it, it also has not so innocent people who thrive off the sickness.

    • @zaccrain

      not now

    • John TheBaptist

      I just scrolled down after i stated almost the same opinion… I know a couple of people in this story, and I don’t know them well enough to say that they aren’t capable of doing this, but at the same time I don’t know that they are…so I will refrain from judgement. If these allegations are true, i hope all parties receive the justice they deserve.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        I learned something valuable from my grandfather later in his life. He surprised me with the confession that he wasn’t born either a good husband or father, but had become a convert along the way. For example, in order to avoid stress, he said that he let my grandmother off at the hospital after she went into labor. She then had a miscarriage – one of two she would suffer from – which caused her emotional distress her whole life which amounted to over seventy-five years of marriage. There is a point when the typical man will awaken to such wonder and become astounded. He isn’t born that way. Only little girls look for such animated fellows and they don’t exist.
        For example, Donald Trump even twenty years ago is going to be much more naive man than he is today. This “Me Too” political nonsense is just the global media trying to elect our government for us. They were shocked when they failed to elect Hillary and have yet to accept Trump as president. Their plan now is to build up this political agenda to both usher in Hillary and kick Trump out of office.

  • Shakira Pierce

    Thank you D-Magazine💗

    • RompingWillyBilly

      Thanks for what? You know, there is just one movement in history which truly rose of, by, and for the people. It is called The American Movement! All these other so-called movements were concocted of, by, and for lawyering legal officials. They are nothing but partisan political agendas. The “Me too!” movement is political nonsense. It was contrived as it has no historical context.

  • John TheBaptist

    While I believe any person, who chooses to assault another person, be it sexual or physical violence, be convicted to the fullest extent of the law, that last paragraph is not what should happen ANYWHERE IN AMERICA… I’m not saying we shouldn’t listen…but people lie, HUMANS, all humans, any allegation should be handled as such until such time as that allegation has been proven to be true. In this country all people are innocent until proven guilty.
    The court of public opinion, doesn’t always need the truth to find someone guilty.

    • Absolutely agree. It’s so unfortunate that every allegation is “Truth” and all accusers are innocent and truly victims when in some of those very cases later proof reveals opposite only after the character, reputation and career of the accused are ruined. Yes in this field we see it all day long especially as a woman on the business side, I’m constantly redirecting girls and playing liaison to prevent so many unfortunate #situations from occurring ,but I can only do so much and honestly it’s real tiring watching other women’s lady parts, I’m definitely not in the field to babysit grown women and coach self respect. Yes alot of these industry guys get off on the attention and adoration and it has very little to do with them but what they represent such as power, lights ,access and notoriety so girls flock to it and of course desperation ,naiveness, and that whole ” freespirit liberated woman thing ” becomes bait. Then boom things go crazy and we end up in this type of situation but sad thing is even when it’s consensual originally meaning a girl knowingly puts herself in this situation consistently and on purpose the moment she decides differently the coin changes. Such an unfortunate situation and if these allegations are true the appropriate punishment should be demanded ,however if not how do you recoup the loss of reputation and character deficient? Sad truth is even though this has happened more women will continue and end up In these same situations because No one thinks it can happen to them until it does.

    • @zaccrain

      people do lie, yes. in this case, it is more than one allegation. it is several, by several people. but i get what you’re saying. that is one of donovan’s suggestions. the other two — banning djs/performers known to put women in danger and being more vocal — i don’t know how you could be against.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        You behave as a typical sophist. Nothing is self evident just as everything is nothing but a trivial opinion. Please, go to school. If you did attend school, please go back and this time study.

  • Sydney

    Why are we not talking about the other big names in the scene who turned a blind eye to these men? If everyone knew, why did it continue to happen? Half of these “DJs” are notorious for preying on younger women and nobody calls them out, either. With time, you will all be exposed. Those of you who have issued statements speaking against these men are not so innocent, but whatever helps you sleep at night. 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️